Statistically insignificant

September 29, 2011

So yet another league table based on partial and inaccurate data - ie, the almost meaningless graduate employment figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency ("Salary premium from post-92s can trump that of bigger names", 22 September).

Despite all the caveats, including the rarely mentioned fact that universities have no mechanisms to force graduates to respond to requests for this information (at all, let alone accurately), the state and consultants set great store by the published figures. But as my recently graduated daughter (Class of 2010) explained to me: "Losers don't want to admit how little they earn and the highly paid don't want begging letters from their alma mater."

Roland Ibbett, Emeritus professor of computer science, University of Edinburgh

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